The consciousness of self is of two minds: one ripe, the other unripe. ‘Nothing is mine, whatever I see, feel or hear – nay, even this body itself is not mine. I am always eternal, free and all-knowing’ – such consciousness as this originates in the ripe ego; while the unripe ego makes man feel himself forever related to the transitory things of the world. ‘This is my bouse, this is my child, this is my wife’ – consciousness like this is the manifestation of the unripe ego.
The ‘I’ that makes a man worldly, and attached to lust and wealth, is mischievous. The individual and the Universal are separated owing to this ‘I’ coming between them. If a stick be thrown, a sheet of water will appear to be divided into two. This stick is the ‘aham’, ego. Take it away and the water is again a single undivided mass.
What is called the ‘mischievous I’? The ‘I’ that says, ‘What! Don’t they know me? I have so much money! Who is so wealthy as myself? Who dares to surpass me?’
Those who seek name and fame forget that everything is ordained by the Great Disposer of all things, that all is due to the Lord and nobody else. The wise man says always, ‘It’s Thou, O Lord,’ but the ignorant and the deluded say, ‘It is I.’ When shall I be free? When that ‘I’ has vanished. ‘I and mine’ is ignorance; ‘Thou and Thine’ is knowledge…. When the soul, says instinctively, ‘Not I, O Lord, but Thou, Thou are the master, I am Thy servant,’ it has reached the end of sorrow. This is mukti, freedom itself.